The Naples area housing market maintained positive traction during the third quarter of 2017 despite enduring a hurricane that impeded activity for three weeks in September. According to the September 2017 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of Realtors (NABOR), which track home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island), there were 398 closed sales during the month of September, a 30 percent decrease compared to September 2016.
September proved challenging for the real estate market as homeowners and agents were forced to wait while public and utility services rebuilt or repaired infrastructure damaged by the hurricane. This was reflected in statistics released for September, which affected total outcomes for the third quarter of 2017. However, year-to-date numbers tell a different story as activity in pending, closed and median price categories were up year over year at the end of the quarter.
To withstand a hurricane and still outperform last year’s activity is a clear sign of market. Broker analysts, who reviewed both reports, agreed that the county’s hurricane building code standards and quality craftsmanship by local builders helped to greatly reduce the amount of major structural damage in the area.
September is typically when the housing market takes a breath before it begins to intensify again. Yet despite a direct hit by a major hurricane, overall closed sales for the third quarter increased 3 percent (year over year). Not surprisingly, the storm’s short-term impact on the housing market in September only tempered sales slightly in the third quarter by 5 percent (quarter over quarter), which translated to just 86 fewer closed sales than in the third quarter of 2016.
Activity in July and August outperformed the same months last year. If the hurricane had not hit the area in September, the third quarter of 2017 would have shown much more impressive activity. A 55 percent decrease in pending sales for September is equivalent to three weeks of inactivity. These sales didn’t disappear, they are just delayed.
The hurricane’s force slowed inventory in September, which resulted in a third quarter decrease of 9 percent. This was most likely a result of homeowners either delaying to list because they evacuated or removing a listing because they needed time to clean up and make minor repairs to properties following the storm. The hurricane created big concerns and delays from banks, too. Most lenders are requiring re-inspections and re-appraisals of properties after the hurricane.
One element the hurricane failed to harm was the continued growth in property value for Naples. Overall median closed prices in the third quarter of 2017 increased 3 percent to $320,000 compared to $312,000 in the third quarter of 2016.
Compared to other tropical second-home destinations such as Puerto Rico, the Southwest Florida housing market fared quite well after it faced a hurricane. Broker analysts believe the area may see an uptick in sales from buyers who had their eyes set on an island home in the Caribbean.
To learn more about the Naples or Southwest Florida real estate market contact an expert member of the 9 Core Realty Team.